Category archives: Nanchang

The Pavillion

I think tonights blog entry will be relatively short although I do have a bunch of pictures to post but we’ll see how fast the internet connection is because I have never been really patient with waiting for things to upload.

We awoke to a laughing baby girl which was a lot of fun:

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Good morning  I wake up happy and laughing

We went to a pavillion whose name I cannot remember and as Thom has gone out for a beer with James I don’t think that the name will make the blog today.  It is one of the three most well known pavillions.  One of the other ones is in Hunan province.  It was built for a prince of the Teng dynasty who did not wish to become emperor.  I guess most of the princes tended to fight each other for that right but he enjoyed painting and other activities and had no desire to be that much in politics. 

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  Teng Pavillion

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Female lion  More pavillion

The pavillion was rebuilt in 1989 for the 29th time so it supposedly has 89 steps on the outside.  I did not feel any desire to confirm this number so I am just going to have to believe what I have been told.  There was a bell over on the left side which you could ring for good luck and a price which, of course, we did.  I have a picture of Thom with the incense after ringing the bell but unfortunately he has taken that camera with him on his beer quest.  Inside on one of the floors you can buy some coins to toss inside a metal urn.  If you get it inside the urn a voice says something in chinese and again it is good luck.  Thom managed to get a coin in on his 6th or 7th try.  I missed many times with the coin hitting the sides and popping out.  However, it is much harder to throw a coin when you have a baby attached to your front.

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 Mommy misses with last coin

We saw a show on the top floor of the pavillion.  There were a lot of other families there with newly adopted babies.  We met one couple from Colorado Springs.  We arrived to early for the performance so listened to the rehearsel which I found to be quite difficult on the ears although it did not seem to bother any of the babies.  However, the performance itself was very nice and relatively short.  You get some great views of the city of Nachang from the pavillion

lili-day4-jpg029-1.jpg Performance at top of pavillion

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  View of Nachang from Pavillion

Lili seems to be quite content to be awake as long as things are going on. Many of the other babies seem to fall asleep when we are out on excursions but not our daughter she wants to see all that can be seen.  Needless to say she fell asleep during lunch which was again at a local restaurant and again very good with some spicy food which is what the province is known for and the girls from here are often referred to as “Spicy girls” which is a line that Thom keeps saying with much gusto.  Lili will eat most food we try to give her. Lili slept all the way home on the bus and then went back to sleep when we got back to the room. 

Today, a tailor came to make outfits for the babies and the adults if they wanted anything.  Needless to say, Lili has a New Year’s outfit through her 3rd birthday.  I do not deny that we went overboard especially when you see Thom’s new jacket which is black with black dragons on it. I nixed the silk pants and he does not understand why but everyone else should be quite grateful.

Her personality continues to develop.  She can have her fussy periods which seem to be mainly when she is hungry and sleepy.  She is learning to sit up buy herself although she still forgets that when she leans to one side she need to use that arm to support herself but over the course of an hour or two she went from sitting with me supporting her for the most part to playing with her toys in a tripod sit.  It was nice to have a chance to just sit and play and bond today and Lili and I spent a lot of time doing that and I loved every minute of it.

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  Mommy and Lili at the pavillion resting

  Getting to know each other better

Tomorrow we are off to they passport office, the country and a porcelein place which is what Jiangxi province is know for so I am sure some more shopping will be done.

Walking in the neighborhood

No naked pictures today. Just some local flavor from yesterday. Lili and I getting ready to walk out the door.

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As Catherine mentioned we went to the park. It was full of families, artists and musicians.

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There is a single string instrument for traditional chinese music called the Hu ( or it could be lu) which multiple groups of people were playing and singing along with. Plus there was yet another food on a stick sighting. This time it was ornamental sugar in the shape of a shrimp.

instrument  sugarstick

Later in the day Lili and I went for a walk while Catherine tried to recover from some virus that was making her queasy and woozy. Everywhere we went we attracted stares and crowds much like this one. This is one of the families in our group with their own set of admirers.

Crowdfamily

As you can tell definitions of personal space are different everywhere you go. However no matter how many people crowd around you, they are curious and friendly even if you can’t understand what they are saying to you.

We attracted a crowd of about 30-40 women and children. I finally realized that the old ladies were grabbing lili’s hands to check if she was warm enough. They showed me this by having me touch the hands of this little girl whose hands felt like ice cubes. So while they were initially skeptical of how many layers Lili had on, they were very impressed by how warm her hands were and so they approved.

 

localgirl trashbike

I met a very chatty 70-year-old man who was a veteran of the Korean war, on the North Korean/Chinese side but also loved America because of our help fighting the Japanese during WWII . He basically said through a translator – “never always enemies, never always friends” I wished I knew what the Chinese words were for that thought because it’s pretty true. We chatted some more with the veteran and lots of other neighborhood residents. It really is a little neighborhood around the Hotel, complete with small markets, hanging laundry, chickens in the alleys, craftsmen making mortise and tenon furniture by hand and eye, and lots of sausages hanging out to dry. The three-wheeled vehicles/motorcycles are everywhere here and are the perfect methods of transporting loads too big to hand carry and too small for a big truck.

We had a very nice walk around the neighborhood before seeing this littel sunset scene which was a perfect close to the evening.

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We’ll post more pictures and stories from today’s travels. Including more pictures and stories. -t

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The People’s Park

As I write tonight, Thom is still awake and Lili just fell asleep about 15 minutes ago.  Our baby is constantly evolving.  This morning was wonderful when Lili awoke and smiled when she saw me looking back at her.  She was definately a more interactive baby.  She ate a big breakfast again but does really enjoy being fed by chopsticks instead of a spoon and let me tell you that will not work with congee although suprisingly enough I have learned to use chopsticks for this egg custard thing the babies seem to like.  It kind of looks like flan but let me tell you the texture is on the nasty side.  I only tried it once and have not desired to eat it again.  Lili slept last night from 8:30 or so until 6:30am but then seems to want an hour long nap about 8:30am which works out quite well since we have been going out at about 10:00am.

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Just before my morning nap

Today we headed out to the People’s Park.  This was a wonderful place with lots of families.  There is a beautiful park in one section with a couple of playgrounds, manmade lakes, pagodas and an area with kids rollerblading and adults and kids playing hitting tennis balls or badmitton cocks. In another section there is what appears to be an old amusement park where there are some rides, some carnival games.  People are out doing many things.  It was very nice today with temperatures in the 60s but needless to say we did get yelled at a couple of times for not having Lili in enough layers.  However, I did see a couple of children who had the chance to take off one layer when they were in the sunshine but that layer had to go back on in the shade,  Many people stopped and talked to us and asked us how old Lili was and most people think that she is about 6 months old and are surprised to learn that she is 10 months.  She is a peanut but my arms hurt enough with this new bundle that I cannot really imagine how I would be able to do it if she weighed more.  We met the cutest 6 year old who spoke english very well and seemed to enjoy trying it out on all of us.  At one point, I had a couple of people checking Lili’s layer count(not enough at 3) but also making sure she could breath ok in the baby bjorn.

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  Lake at the park

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Singing in the park

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  Paint your own pottery in China

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Boy in a few layers(and I mean a few)

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Thom making himself dizzy

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Lili and Mommy checking things out

After our trip to the park, we went to a local restaurant to try some of the spicy cuisine.  It was all quite delicious but best of all was the shrimp which was similar to salt-baked and the mushrooms which were slced flat and had a great earthy feeling.  After lunch, we headed back to the hotel where we all took a nap and then when Lili awoke she and Thom went out on the town because I was not feeling too well.  Thom will have to tell you about that tomorrow. 

Tonight our baby changed once again.  She did not eat much dinner but had eaten like a truck driver again for both breakfast and lunch. She also loved this rice cake which is a little bit sweet but not much.  Cindy, our local guide, told us that they call them shut-up cakes in China because when you give them to the babies they stop crying. However, although she did not eat much she started moving a lot more.  Now this could have been due to the prunes finally doing there job or because nighttime seems to be when she shows us a new aspect of her personality.  Most likely both things played a role.

After dinner, she had her first real bath with us.  Needless to say she did not like this very much.  She was pissed off already because she does not really like the way Daddy undresses her.  It is a funny site to watch.  The overalls seem to represent some kind of weird challenge to Thom and he has to undo the bottom of them and slip them off from the legs instead of over her head.  I’m not sure I understand how he does it.  Anyhow, she screamed for the whole bath.

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My first bath and not my most favorite experience

After her bath, she seemed ready for bed so we read our book and put her down in her crib.  About 10 minutes later, we had a baby who was moving all over the crib and talking to herself. Thom and I found ourselves once more just staring at her and she knew how to keep our attention because whenever she realized we were looking, she would give us the biggest smile and sometimes a laugh. She did this for about 45 minutes and as much as I tried to not keep looking over at her because I knew it was keeping her up I could not help it because she would just give me a laugh and a smile.  She finally conked herself out just as I started to write the blog and even now I keep looking over at her and thinking how lucky we are.  She is a wonderful baby girl.  I again wonder what tomorrow will bring. Goodnight.

She’s here!!!!

Well, it is 10:00 at night here and both Lili and Thom are fast asleep.  It was quite a day.  We arrived at the SWI building at about 4:30 and as we came into the big room where we were to meet our babies, people were leaving with their new babies.  In the room, there were others who had already gotten their babies.  The whole room was overwhelming with people running backward and forward and babies crying.  Her name was called in Chinese and we showed our passports and our invitation and then she was in my arms.  It was the most overwhelming feeling and all I could was just hold her and hug her.  We were one of the first couples to get our baby and so as you can imagine there was not much time for us to take pictures but I have included a couple here from a little afterwards. Actually, I just tried to upload them and it is not working and it is too late at night to be trying to figure it out.  Hopefully, Thom will be able to blog in the morning.

Anyhow, after getting Lili we settled down with her and just gazed at her and at first she seemed all right with this and then she started to cry.  We tried feeding her but that only worked for a few minutes and then she rejected the bottle so we tried to make one with hot water.  Also, rejected.  Thom finally thought of taking her into the hallway away from everyone and she calmed down somewhat at least enough to try to take us in and figure us out.  She would every once in a while give one of us a look like I don’t know you and then start crying again.  The chaos in the room continued and we were called into to have our family picture done and then to have an interview and sign some paperwork. Then we were already to go back to the hotel.  Lili fell asleep the minute the bus started to move but woke up the minute it stopped. But to also add to the chaos, on the way over to get our babies we had decided to switch hotels so we went back to our original hotel and packed up all our belongings and got back on the bus. This was a new experience for us because Lili had decided that everything was fine as long as she was in constant motion.  I strapped on the baby bjorn (incorrectly, I later figured out) and we packed up.  Everyone was ready to go in a suprisingly short period of time and we moved to our new hotel.  By the time, we got to our room it was after 7:15pm.  Dinner was at 7:30.  Needless to say we were not there on time.  We undressed Lili down to 1 layer of clothing on the top and 2 on the bottom since she was going to be inside and brought her down to dinner.  What a different baby food made.  I thought she would not want to go into the highchair since she was still insisting on constant motion but she showed no reluctance and began to eat cheerios which she had rejected earlier.  She seemed to really enjoy any food except the watermelon and even enjoyed the highchair itself.  She tended to lilt to one side but this did not bother her and she opened her mouth up like a little bird for the noodles and then sucked the egg custard right off the spoon.  By the end of her first meal with us, she had smiled multiple times and kept regarding Thom with these big eyes that seemed to say “Ok, I think you are someone I like.” Poor Thom now appears to live with 2 people who get cranky when they are hungry but I’m sure he’ll adapt.

She appeared very tired as did we all so we brought her up to her room and Thom got her ready for bed.  She cried for a while while getting ready for bed but eventually found her fingers and wrapped her arm around her new lamb blanket and consoled herself.  I then read her Goodnight Moon and we put her down in her bed.  She just watched us move around the room but seemed quite content to lay there and she eventually fell asleep sometime around 9:00-9:15 pm.  She seems to be doing pretty well so far and is sleeping through Thom’s snoring which is a plus for her.  I just keep staring at her in her crib.  She is the most beautiful baby and right now she is lying in on her back as though she is getting ready to make a snow angel.  I can’t wait to see how her personality continues to come out over the next few days.

That’s all for now.  I am going to try and get some sleep now.  Hopefully, Thom will be able to upload some pictures tomorrow.